New target for tourist growth
Report sets out strategy for county
Rutherglen and Cambuslang could play their part in helping tourism boost the Lanarkshire economy by £9million per year.
The group behind VisitLanarkshire. com, VenuesLanarkshire.com and BeLanarkshire.com are targeting 2.5 per cent annual growth in the region’s tourism sector by 2020.
Their ambitious target, which aims to increase both visitor numbers and jobs, has been revealed in the Lanarkshire Area Tourism Partnership’s recently published Tourism Lanarkshire 2020 report.
The VisitLanarkshire website lists Kirkhill, Cambuslang and Cathkin golf clubs as potential sporting attractions, along with Scotkart. Local businesses and Cambuslang Park are also held up as attractions.
Rutherglen Town Hall is included in the list of potential venues.
Lanarkshire Tourism Association chair Mark Calpin said: “Our 2.5 per cent year-on-year growth target is ambitious but achievable.
“By 2020 we want to cement Lanarkshire’s reputation as a destination that offers excellent quality, value for money and accessibility for all.
“The tourism sector in Lanarkshire is already thriving, with every £ 1 invested returning around £ 56 to the local economy. We anticipate seeing this rate grow over the coming four years.
“The area enjoys some of the best food and drink, transport links, accommodation, heritage and businesses in the country.
“We can only achieve these targets with the ongoing support of the local authorities, businesses and tourism groups in the region.
“By pulling together in the same direction we believe we can exceed our targets and help Lanarkshire’s tourism economy thrive.”
The report was developed following research in partnership with private, public and third sector organisations.
The three main areas identified for growth are leisure tourism, business tourism and customer service training to encourage repeat business.
The strategy is based on turning assets into quality experiences, improving the customer journey, increasing digital capabilities and leadership and collaboration
As well as the partnership’s tourism aspirations, local authorities and independent businesses are investing to attract leisure and business visitors.
The trend of increasing visitor numbers is expected to continue, with major improvements being made to the area’s transport links.
Lanarkshire is within an hour of many major towns and cities in Scotland. The £ 500million road improvements to the M8, M73 and M74, including the Raith interchange, which are due to be completed during 2017 will improve access from Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as journeys around Lanarkshire.
Lanarkshire Area Tourism Partnership’s approach to attracting tourism has helped lead to a 12 per cent growth in tourism-related jobs since 2012. Annual visitor numbers are up by more than 100,000 in the same period and the accommodation provision has increased by 12 per cent since 1999 to almost 8,000 beds.